The wave of demonstrations against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death has been coupled with a broader conversation about racial injustice and structural inequalities in the United States. And in a country with a persistent wage gap based on race — the net worth of a white household is about 10 times greater than a black household — supporting black-owned businesses has emerged as a form of activism in this current moment of reckoning.
Karthick Ramakrishnan, who runs the UC Riverside Center for Social Innovation, said research is underway for a current survey on black-owned businesses in the Inland Empire, where about 6% of the population is black. He said the informal lists are a positive form of awareness, and not just among individual consumers but foundations and corporations who can provide support for leaders from the black community.
"There's an important opportunity here to make sure this kind of awareness and support is not a one-off activity," he said.